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Join The Fight and Help Save the Hobbies

Web Link to the MDHTALK Legislation and Regulations Metal Detecting Page

WWATS - Texas Treasure Show 2009 Keith Wills
The following eight - 10 minute You Tube videos represent Keith Wills presentation on the condition of the Metal Detecting Hobby and what can be done.
Video One, Video Two, Video Three, Video Four, Video Five, Video Six, Video Seven, Video Eight

Federation of Metal Detector and Archaeological Clubs
                                   Inc. (FMDAC)

FMDAC Website (New Website Layout)

FMDAC Facebook Page

The Federation of Metal Detector and Archaeological Clubs Inc. (FMDAC) was organized in 1984 as a legislative and educational organization and incorporated, as a non-profit, non-commercial, non-partisan organization.

The FMDAC's Mission: The FMDAC is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and protection for the hobby of recreational metal detecting and prospecting.

The FMDAC's Purpose:
To unite, promote and encourage the establishment of metal detecting clubs.
To preserve the sport / hobby of recreational metal detecting and prospecting.
To make available to FMDAC clubs and Independent members information pertaining to the hobby and to keep members informed as to active legislation.

The FMDAC's Goal is to Educate and inform the public as to the merits of recreational metal detecting.

News Grams

2021 FMDAC
News Grams

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News Grams


April 02, 2021

Mark Schuessler, FMDAC President's Message

Hello Everyone.

A potential detecting ban has been suggested in Walingford, CT. I say potential as at this time there is nothing in writing. It was discussed at a committee meeting and was left that the parks director would write something up for the committee to consider. We are assisting the local club with attempting to fend it off before it happens, before it gets to the point of having to battle an actual “bill” in the town council.

This came about mainly due to athletic field markers getting dug up and removed. Those markers are 3 in long bolts. The small size and removability is the problem as responsible hunters will remove “trash” encountered. Second to that was sloppy digging. Three detectorists spoke at the online meeting and did a great job of presenting the hobby. We followed up with a letter to the parks director with suggestions on how to alleviate the problem with the markers. We also included suggestions on the digging problem and included our target recovery sheets.

We are hopeful that this can be stopped before it goes any further. If not then we will let everyone know and we will provide contact info for the council members.

For any of you who are officers in ANY organizations that have an online presence with officers listed, there is a scam that you should be aware of. This goes back beginning several years ago when the FMDAC treasurer received email requests for money that looked like they were coming from me. They were a bit vague but convincing. Luckily he checked with me. Recently many of the officers received emails asking for money that used my name. However it was not my email address. Pass it around to your officers and especially the treasurers to double check any money requests that come via email. Do not do it by replying as it will go the scammer. Check the email address with what you have in your address book. Check it out by initiating a separate email or do it by phone or text. The length scammers will go are endless and there is always a new one popping up.

Last of all with regret I announce that Lee is resigning as the newsgram editor. Lee has done a great job for several years and we thank him for his efforts. It is not a small undertaking to put this together and we appreciate his efforts.

Happy Hunting
Mark Schuessler, FMDAC President


November 16, 2019
Press Release
April 17, 2018
Press Release
Hello to all members and non members. Please read the announcement below direct from the FMDAC President, Mark Schuessler
Target Recovery Certification Program

November 24, 2017 Press Release
April 28, 2017
FMDAC News Release
August 14, 2016 FMDAC Press Release
SAA Task Force on Professional Archaeologists, Avocational Archaeologists, & Artifact Collectors Web Link
September 07, 2015 FMDAC Presidents Message Read Here
March 05, 2015 FMDAC Presidents Message 1st Qtr Select Here
November 13, 2014 FMDAC Presidents Message Fall 2014 Select Here
May 09, 2014 - Presidents Report on Facebook or View This PDF File
May 09, 2014 - FMDAC's Response to the Massachusetts Metal Detecting Issue Fackbook or View This PDF File
December 27, 2013 - Presidents Report on Facebook
August 24, 2013 - 2013 2nd Qtr President's Report

MDAW - Metal Detecting Association of Washington

MDAW Website

MDAW FaceBook

The Metal Detecting Association of Washington was started to promote, protect and preserve recreational metal detecting here, in the State of Washington. Some of the concerns related to detecting in this state are unique to the Pacific Northwest. As a group we strive to work with hobbyists, in clubs or not, who want to enjoy metal detecting, follow the rules set down about the hobby and in some cases help to change those rules. The MDAW works in cooperation with the Office of Historical and Archaeological Preservation of Washington State and Washington State Parks.

The MDAW is an active organization of metal detecting clubs and individuals throughout Washington State working to promote recreational metal detecting for the public.

A project being worked on at this time is trying to get state parks to open more areas within the designated state recreational lands to recreational metal detecting.

Having completed an educational workshop with staff from the archaeological preservation office of Washington State. We have what we feel is a good working relationship and are working to keep it that way.

On the following pages you will find many parks and other areas that may be open to metal detecting.  Always make sure that an area is ok to detect.

Please read these links to the latest WA State Park rules.

Metal Detecting Maps Be sure you check maps and complete a metal detecting brochure.

County and city rules may vary. Please check with the individual parks departments.

  Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs

The purpose of the TAMDC shall be to unite, promote, and encourage metal detecting clubs in Texas, through education and instruction in the recovery and preservation of historical facts, relics, and artifacts. It is the intent and charter of this association to develop and maintain a positive image for metal detectorists and their activities at local, state, and national levels through performance of selected community service projects and through adherence to the TAMDC code of ethics.

T.A.M.D.C. Website

T.A.M.D.C. FaceBook Page

The Historical Hearne-Gidden Home Coming Back to Life
From Houston to Ft. Worth, from Dallas to Austin, and all towns in between, twenty metal detectorists from the Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs (T.A.M.D.C.) converged on Kosse, TX on December 16th in partnership with the Kosse Heritage Society for a T.A.M.D.C. “GIVES BACK” Community Service Project. The purpose of the event was to help raise awareness and funds for Kosse Heritage Society’s, Hearne-Gidden Restoration Project, by recovering historical artifacts from the ground around the historical home. Read More
LogoSierra Rivers. The hunt for the motherlode begins here.
We took over 100,000 historic lode claims in California and mapped them using Arc Gis. What results is a well defined map of the Motherlode. Whether you're looking for placer or lode gold, locating a claim in this gold belt is your best bet. The old saying is if you want to find gold, go where gold has been found. We have several online, interactive, maps which show you gold and silver locations throughout the US. We've mapped gold and silver locations; historic fault zones and the Motherlode.

Sierra Rivers Website

AMRA-American Mining Rights Association is a 501 (c)(3) Non-profit Association and was created by miners and public land users, for miners and public land users to preserve and maintain their rights as they pertain to access to their public lands and their rights to obtain the minerals on those lands. We are not a gold club but rather an advocacy group.

AMRA Website

AMRA FaceBook Page

October News Link

Get the Latest News from these websites. Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) - News on legal issues for the gold prospecting community.  

Gold Prospectors Website

GPAA Facebook Page

November News Link

Prospecting and Mining Journal (IMCJ)- News on legal issues in the gold prospecting community.

Prospecting and Mining Journal Website

IMCJ Facebook Page

November Mining District News

Public Lands for the People - A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit

Public Lands for the People Website

PLP Facebook Page

PLP was constructed for the purpose of representing all outdoor user groups and individuals that are interested in keeping public and private lands open to prospecting, mining, and outdoor recreation on a non-discriminatory basis! PLP assists groups to join forces to maintain the laws and rights of all citizens on public and private lands (Federal, State and City). PLP will assist with representation at public hearings of government agencies that are proposing limitations and restrictions on the lands that belong to the people. PLP DOES LITIGATE! We will file injunctions, when necessary, to prevent governmental agencies from discussing public issues behind closed doors and calling them “personnel meetings”. We will come to the aid of, and give individual attention to, persons or groups who are being harassed, intimidated or mislead by people in authority (in or out of uniform) who are attempting to enforce their own ideas or opinions of laws, rules or regulations, rather than the actual laws, rules or regulations, and what it actually means.

September 01, 2021
NEW Here we go again!  We are gathering at a great mining claim and sharing the gold (of COURSE keep all you find!), food, fellowship, commercial drywasher common dig, detector hunts, huge raffle (gold nuggets, mining equipment and more!), plus we will be sharing more updates about the success PLP members have had with suction dredge reclamation.

SIGN UP here:  FALLFEST 2021 | Public Lands For The People

We will be gathering on a very large private mining claim in the historic Stringer Mining District just south of Randsburg, CA. The claim is a short distance from Highway 395, south of Red Mountain. The claim is RV accessible with an area for RVs to park, and tent camping is allowed most anywhere except the main area where we will be hosting the potluck dinner, panning area and group campfire. 

We have PLP signs on wooden stakes to help guide you to the claim from Highway 395. The PLP registration table will be near the entrance to the claim which is less than a mile and a half from the highway on paved and good unpaved road. Our volunteers will be wearing bright yellow PLP Volunteer shirts and vests. Flag one of us down if you have any questions.

This historic gold and tungsten mining claim is still yielding gold in the washes, on the flat ground and even in the huge dirt piles. Rumor has it the piles were never run, just sampled by the government contractor looking for tungsten around the time of World War II. There have been nuggets found by attendees, and they never get them all! Bring your metal detector and drywasher and keep all the GOLD you find! It is a dry, high desert claim with ample area for dry camping. Be aware there is wildlife living on the claim, we are visiting their home (in the part of the desert that the claim is in, we've seen foxes, coyotes, snakes, lizards, jack rabbits, etc.). Do not dig near their homes. We have clean porta-potties on site, extra drinking water and a group campfire (conditions permitting), Friday night and Saturday evening after the potluck dinner, and Miner’s Church and Fellowship on Sunday morning. Please bring your own camp chairs and a folding table if you want to eat on a table, we are short on tables and will be using ours for serving the Saturday potluck/ BBQ dinner and for hosting the raffle. Bring your favorite side dish and or dessert to share! After dinner we’ll be sharing what PLP has been working on regarding the PROVEN ways you can now exercise your legal right to mine and perform dredge reclamation.  We will have the new PLP DREDGE Cards on hand that spell out exactly what to do to legally participate in suction dredge reclamation in CA. We will also be handing out our new and very useful PLP Forest Service cards specifically designed to keep the Forest Service working within their actual jurisdiction and not overstepping onto your legal mining rights. Read Complete Press Release

July 30, 2021 - August 2021
Many people have requested we offer our opinion of the June 4th Clean Water Act Federal decision in ICL v. Poe Press Release
The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) filed a lawsuit against gold miner Shannon Poe three years ago under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act. On June 4, 2021, Idaho district court magistrate Justice Bush ruled that defendant Shannon Poe had violated 42 counts of the Clean Water Act while suction dredging in Idaho in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The maximum each pre-2016 count carries is a $31,000 per day fine and post-2016 counts carry a $51,000 per day fine. The penalty or "bifurcated" part of the decision will be handed down sometime after March 2022.

Some quotes from the court documents:

ICL further notes that your past and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act are willful, knowing, and deliberate.

Indeed, it could reasonably be said that Mr. Poe was intentionally advertising to the world not just the fact of his prior suction dredging activities, but also the fact of his intended future suction dredging activities.

The allegations within ICL's Complaint adequately allege a sufficient injury in fact and, in turn, the allegations sufficiently trace the injury to Mr. Poe's challenged conduct. The alleged injury is redressable by enjoining Mr. Poe from violating the CWA and imposing civil penalties as a deterrent.

Finally, in either enjoining Mr. Poe from future discharges into the South Fork Clearwater River without an NPDES permit or imposing civil penalties on Mr. Poe, ICL has demonstrated that a favorable decision would redress its injuries.

*Defendant Poe establishes that suction dredge mining in general and, certainly recreational suction dredge mining, is a "discharge of dredge or fill material." See: Defendant Shannon Poe's Motion for Summary Judgment Page 2, ¶ 3.
(Emphasis added by PLP)

NOTE: Additional quoted evidence established or admitted in the case which led the judge to his decision are at the end of this letter.

Defendant Poe waived his right to trial and chose the path called motioning for summary judgment. This path is common when both sides of a lawsuit agree to the facts of a case but dispute how the law is interpreted or enforced, and this shortcut is generally favored as a savings of the cost to litigate a controversy. Waiving trial in favor of summary judgment was not a wise choice by defendant Poe. *To his own detriment and our astonishment, defendant Poe established in his own motion for summary judgment that he is (in fact), a discharger of pollutants which concurs with ICL's position. What Poe may not have known is that both 40 CFR 232.2 (EPA) and 33 CFR 323.2 (Army Corps) jointly share the same definition of the term "discharge" of material defined as the addition of such materials to the waters of the U.S. That is why Justice Bush noted in his decision that: "Neither ICL or Poe disputes that the material passing through Mr. Poe's suction dredge and into the South Fork Clearwater River falls within the definition of a pollutant under the CWA." Mr. Poe tried to make a no addition argument but in the eyes of the law he had already legally canceled it out by accepting and setting forth that he was in fact a discharger under the Army Corps regulatory authority. Had defendant Poe not waived his right to trial and gone to trial like the PLP assisted line of cases (Godfrey and Osterbrink), and shifted the burden of proving discharge to the ICL or government, the outcome should have been favorable to defendant Poe. Unfortunately, that did not happen because Mr. Poe did not wish to go to trial and dispute the fact that he was or was not a discharger.

Mr. Poe has publicly stated that the American Mining Rights Association (AMRA) is prepared to fight the Judge Bush decision against himself as president of AMRA and fight it hard. Unfortunately and technically speaking, the fight is over and the case has entered a "bifurcated" penalty phase (through March of 2022) -- which is a fancy way of saying the legal process is now looking in to the defendant's ability to pay the judgment. The scope of this discovery in the penalty phase will go into potential self-dealings to find "the effects Mr. Poe's dredging had on the South Fork of the Clearwater River, the economic benefit he gained (i.e gold), his history of violations (like paying off the Forest Service violation fines in 2018), his efforts or lack of efforts to comply with the applicable requirements and the economic impact of a civil penalty on him." See: Joint status report and stipulated litigation and discovery plan filed June 21st, 2021. The road ahead for Mr. Poe is going to potentially cost in the millions of dollars when one factors in the 42 counts, potential punitive damages, and attorney fees from the ICL. And yes, the Poe and AMRA funding for this bad precedent will go directly into the ICL coffers to put more miners out of business.

What about an appeal?
A do over at the appeals level would not be fruitful; and cannot cure the fact defendant (Poe) admitted and set forth that he was a discharger and polluter under the CWA. Also, appealing the case would inflict damage outside Idaho and set bad precedent for all the western states regarding suction dredge regulation.

On a final note: The June 4th ICL v. Poe decision has seriously maimed, if not killed the efforts on negotiated rule-making for suction dredging regulatory relief at the Idaho state legislature. PLP researchers in Idaho are hopeful positive engagements can resume.

It has become obvious through the actions that led to, and the course of this lawsuit, that AMRA's path is not compatible with PLP's. There are proper legal and legislative routes for protesting over-regulation that AMRA needs to support -- but supporting ICL v. Poe is not one of them. PLP cannot support self-admitting polluters when their purposeful actions hurt the entire mining community.

-Your PLP Board of Directors
The original. No compromise. Standing 31 years strong for Multiple Use on Public Land "RIGHTS"!

Here is additional quoted evidence established or admitted in the case which led the judge's decision:

"14. From July 14, 2014 to August 15, 2014 (the 2014 dredge season), Mr. Poe operated a suction dredge and discharged sediment and/or other pollutants into the South Fork Clearwater River on more than one day. See id. at ¶55. Mr. Poe admitted to dredging on Idaho rivers in 2014, including 13 days on the South Fork Clearwater River in online posts. See id. at ¶57. On August 16, 2014, Mr. Poe wrote an online post, recognizing the necessity of obtaining an NPDES permit and his defiance to do so. See id. at ¶59.
19. In August 2015, Mr. Poe admitted dredging on the South Fork Clearwater River in an online post. See Compl., ¶62 (Dkt. 1). In August and September 2015, Mr. Poe made several online posts discussing standing up to the EPA and the Forest Service while dredging. See id. at ¶¶63-64.
21. Mr. Poe received ICL's letter and responded in a June 14, 2016 letter, stating: "I have no plans, or intent to dredge the SF Clearwater this year, and do not intend to dredge in future years without the appropriate permits." See Compl., PP66 (Dkt. 1); see also Poe Decl., ¶10 (Dkt. 17-2); Ex. C to Oppenheimer Decl. (Dkt. 20-19).
26. In online posts, Mr. Poe admitted to dredging on the South Fork Clearwater River on multiple days during the 2018 season and admitted to purposefully failing to obtain an NPDES permit. See Compl., ¶¶73-82 (Dkt. 1). Mr. Poe also admitted he planned to continue dredging through August 15, 2018, and in future years."

July 14, 2021 The HUGE PLP Grand Raffle Drawing is in the history books! Here's the list of awesome prizes: Press Release
June 06, 2021
Release Suction Dredge Science - Update in the Works
Public Lands for the People (PLP) is presently funding a non-partisan review of the science behind suction dredging, mining and reclamation of precious metals, lead, and mercury and its effect on the eco-system. The on-going study, to be concluded by the Spring of 2022, will produce a professional and published peer review paper. If the study concludes that suction dredge mining can be carried out as is presently and legally done under suction dredge reclamation, then political pressure can better be applied to provide equity and lift the present draconian rules on suction dredge mining. This strategy has the potential to help other miners in states such as Oregon, Washington and Idaho who have also been struggling with the same misconceptions, policies and draconian rules.

Afraid to go back in the Water?
If you are a PLP member and have your CA Suction Dredge Guide for Reclamation Purposes card and would like a hands-on demonstration, then you should call Reinke Mining Adventures & Services (www.reinkegoldmining.com) at 530-913-1563 to sign up for upcoming river/creek demonstrations in northern California, the first of which will be held on June 19th near Camptonville, CA. There is very limited space to park at the claim so we request you carpool as much as possible. The claim is not far from the highway and is on a good dirt road. There is only space for 50 people and about 25 vehicles, so we ask that you call to sign up with Josh at RGM Mining Group and you will be given directions to the claim: First Come. First Served. We have extended an invitation to representatives of the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife. Due to limited space, this event will only be open to PLP Members.

If you like the work PLP does, please help by supporting the 2021 PLP Grand Raffle that keeps us in the fight for your rights, coming up with "outside the box" solutions that benefit our members AND the environment!

A book of 12 tickets is only $10. We have a lot of great high-value prizes including 3 dredge trips in Oregon, mining claim, detectors, gold and MUCH MORE! See our ad in the June ICMJ Prospecting & Mining Journal for a list of the prizes. See the Grand Raffle ad in the Mining Journal online too: www.icmj.com. You can't win if you don't enter! Tickets are available through July 11th for purchase by phone for the July 14th 2021 Grand Raffle Drawing. You can call our toll-free number 844-PLP-1990 which is 844-757-1990 or Mail a Check by July 5th (to the address below) and specify the number of ticket books you wish to have mailed to you.
Your PLP Board of Directors

May 1st, 2021 Press Release Suction Dredging is Back in Most of California!

02-27-2021 PLP Researchers make major breakthrough on Forest Service Land  Press Release
February 09, 2021 PLP Press Release
New Path for Legally Re-Starting Gold Suction Dredge Mining
February 2021 by Scott Harn Read The Complete Press Release
Dec 06, 2020 Press Release
September 01, 2020 PLP Press Release
August 18, 2020  FOR 30 YEARS: PLP exists to "Represent and assist outdoor user groups and individuals interested in keeping public and private lands open to prospecting, mining and outdoor recreation through education, scientific data and legal means." Press Release
June 11, 2020
PLP Prospector Cross Training
March 17, 2020 PLP Press Release
December 23, 2019 PLP Press Release
November 01, 2019 PLP’s OCTOBER SURPRISE News Release!
July 22, 2019 PLP Press Release The 2019 Grand Raffle is in the history books! PLP is ramping up for its 30th year of working hard to preserve our rights.
July 03, 2019 PLP Grand Raffle Looming Ahead Press Relewase
June 18, 2019 PLP Press Release Newsletter The much-anticipated “Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals” has now been released by an interagency report.
04-30-19  Read the Complete News Release PLP has proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) called “Critical Minerals: National Security Amendments to the NDAA”.
04-15-19 PLP 2019 Grand Raffle is underway! Get your tickets early!
December 19, 2018
PLP Newsletter
August 15, 2018 PLP News Release
July 30, 2018
PLP 2018 Grand Raffle Winners Press Release
June 15, 2018 PLP News Release
May 09, 2018 PLP Press Release
March 01, 2018 PLP News Release
January 14, 2018
PLP Press Release
December 16, 2017
PLP Press Release
December 01, 2017 PLP Press Release
October 20,17
PLP Press Rease
September 08, 2017 PLP News Release
July 12, 2017
PLP Press Release
June 26, 2017 PLP Grand Raffle Press Release
June 09, 2017 PLP News Release
April 09, 2017
PLP Press Release
March 28, 2017 PLP Press Release
February 07, 2017 PLP News Release
December 19, 201
6 Latest News Press Release
November 16, 2016
PLP Press Release
November 08, 2016 
PLP Press Release
August 24, 2016
PLP Press Release
August 17, 2016
PLP Press Release
July 24, 2016
PLP Press Release
July 20, 2016
Press Release
June 07, 2016 PLP Press Release
May 27, 2016
PLP News Release
March 18, 2016 PLP News Release
March 06, 2016
PLP Press Release
February 29, 2016
PLP Press Release Read More
January 21, 2016
PLP Press Release
January 19, 2016
Press Release
December 17, 2015 PLP Press Release
December 03, 2015
PLP Press Release Annual PLP Christmas Party December 17th
November 26, 2015
PLP Press Release
November 10, 2015
PLP Press Release
October 12, 2015 Feinstein Whitewater Public Meeting Details PLP News Release
September 03, 2105 PLP/MMAC Oktoberfest Fundraise Press Release
August 13, 2015
PLP/MMAC Oktoberfest Fundraiser
August 10, 2015
PLP Request Joshua Tree National Park: Eagle Mountain Follow Up
August 02, 2015 PLP Press Release
July 23, 2015
PLP Press Release
July 06, 2015 PLP Press Release
June 27, 2015 PLP Press Release
June 24, 2015
PLP Press Release
June 12, 2015 PLP Press Release
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May 28, 2015
PLP Latest News Complete Press Release
May 08, 2015
PLP Miners Win Federal Preemption Press Release
May 08, 2015 PLP - Message from the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) Press Release
March 17, 2015 Cleveland National Forest has decided to close more roads PLP Press Release
March 03, 2015
February 23, 2015 We rolling out a new website PLP News Release & Request
January 21, 2015 A win for PLP is a win for the small scale mining community and all public land users. Read the Complete Press Release
January 14, 2015
PLP Press Release
December 29, 2014  Tribute to Jerry Hobbs Read the Complete Press Release
October 23, 2014 Three things in this press release PLP wants to inform you about. Press Release
October 07, 2014  Press Release The Oregon State House,
January 01, 2014 Public Lands for the People marching towards VICTORY! YouTube Video